Tag Archives: run for a reason

Random Running Snippets, Few Apertures

Gotta love all that bling! (Not sure if there was a medal in 2003)

Gotta love all that bling! (Not sure if there was a medal in 2003)

Some random thoughts about last Sunday’s Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon while my quads gently scream (with apologies to the late George Harrison):

My dear close friends and family, who are almost all nonrunners, marvel at my half-marathon “achievements” (some don’t even know the difference between the half and the full marathon). They make it seem like I’ve climbed Mt. Everest! Being more of a slogger than even a jogger, it’s kind of embarrassing; it probably makes my running pals, all of whom are much faster than me, roll their eyes when they read their lovely Facebook comments.

While I do appreciate the adulation, here’s the total truth: Unless you have physical limitations, anyone can finish these events (heck, several blind runners led by dedicated guides completed the marathon). It’s a simple process: Train for the distance for four to six months. Then on race day put one foot in front of the other. Repeat until you at least cross the finish line. Bam! They put a medal on you! Bask in the glow while your body pleads for mercy for several days.

Finishing a half or full marathon is an awesome accomplishment. I recommend crossing it off your bucket list next January in Houston!

Back Off!

I thought about my former college roommate Jan during Sunday’s event. Given her nursing background, it was no surprise that she had posted on Facebook hints for avoiding the flu. One biggie? No hand contact. So what did runners see along the route? Lots of spectators wanting to give us high fives. Ugh! I’ve had the flu shot, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get sick from someone else’s germs . . . no matter how well-intended the gesture is.

Around mile 10, a guy held a sign that read “High Five 4 Power.” I gave him a virtual high five . . . and stayed very far away. Love our wonderful supporters’ spirit and enthusiasm. Just not their potential viruses.

Don’t Mess With the Course

I hate to say it, but some runners are selfish slobs. Too many of them drop their excess wearables, especially trash bags that were worn for protection against the rain, on the ground as they’re running without any concern for those behind them who could easily trip over these discards, hurting or ending their own race. I figured it was just the guys who were guilty (having lived with three males who forget that hangars do exist all these years) until I watched a gal toss her sheddable jacket behind her as we neared the finish.

How hard is it to run to the side of the road and put bags, gloves, hats, and jackets there? Or drape them on a cone? Please take the time to keep your fellow runners safer!


Still Fundraising

Thinking about who you’re running for is a great distraction during these long-distance races. In the latter stages of the half marathon, from mile nine on, I tried to concentrate more on my family members who have battled heart- and stroke-related problems than on how cold, wet, and miserable I felt. It actually helped!

You still can donate to my Run for a Reason cause, by the way. Just click on this link: The American Heart Association. Thanks for making a difference!

Please Donate!


Looking for a great cause to support, one that’s also tax-deductible? Please donate to the American Heart Association, which is the charity I’m running for during the January 13th Aramco Houston Half Marathon through its Run for a Reason program.

According to the AHA, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, more deadly than all forms of cancer. More than 2,200 Americans die of heart disease every day, one death every 39 seconds. Someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds, with a stroke-related death occurring every four minutes.

Those are sobering numbers. My father suffered a heart attack, my father-in-law a stroke, I have friends and a dear cousin battling heart problems, and I have other pals who have lost their loved ones to heart attacks. I want the AHA to be able to help as many people as possible.

The American Heart Association’s mission is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020. This is an aggressive disease that needs the AHA’s aggressive response.

Any amount of money will help this important cause, from one dollar on up. Just click here: Run for a Reason. Thanks for helping the AHA kick heart disease to the curb.

Running for Another New Reason

It’s a badge of honor!

Now that I’ve logged a 10-mile run, I can somewhat confidently look ahead towards my ultimate goal: Finishing my eighth Aramco Houston Half Marathon on January 13.  That date will be here before we know it, and I’m hopeful that a few more long runs will make me believe that I’m ready to tackle those 13.1 miles without cursing the cruel racing gods for not blessing me with decent running DNA.

Helping to ease the pain (“Ease his pain”—remember what movie that quote is from? And, yes, I did whisper it.) of my ornery right foot that starts burning after six miles and make me go the distance (yep, same flick) is the knowledge that for the fourth straight year I’ll be running for others.

Thanks to the Chevron Houston Marathon and its attendant half marathon’s Run for a Reason fundraising program, I’ve helped raise money for the the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in 2010 and 2011 and Susan G. Komen for the Cure this past January.

For 2013’s race, I’ve selected yet another new cause: The American Heart Association. My father suffered a non-fatal heart attack in the early 1980s, while my dear cousin Eileen has suffered with heart problems. I have friends who also are dealing with heart issues, while others, including our good friend Eric, have lost their fathers due to heart attacks.

Obviously, it’s time to kick heart disease to the curb! Won’t you join me in this fight by donating? Any dollar amount is appreciated. Just click here.

Thanks for helping me make a difference!

Sidebar: “Field of Dreams,” of course! Love that movie!!

Weather Watching Again

The weather according to my iMac

Yes, I’m at it again—for the seventh time I’m running the Aramco Houston Half Marathon through the streets of Houston Sunday, which means I’ve been obsessively checking out weather websites all week.

Accuweather’s take on the forecast

Like most runners, I prefer cool temperatures for long runs like this 13.1-miler. But I don’t like it cold (it was 27 degrees overnight, so I’m glad the race wasn’t today) or too warm like last year (60 degrees). For me, about 50 degrees with a light breeze is just perfect. But like me, Houston’s weather tends to be far from perfect, especially on race day.

Here’s what the National Weather Service says.

As you can see from the three photos, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on what the low temperature will be Sunday morning. But I have a feeling it’ll be about 45 degrees, which means a short-sleeve t-shirt and shorts for me (the temps were similar in 2010). It’ll be chilly at the start, but it shouldn’t be too warm by the time I jog past the finish line (hopefully).

After that, I’m looking forward to resting my legs and rooting our Houston Texans on to victory against the hated Baltimore Ravens in the NFL playoffs. Gooooo, Texans!

Running for a Reason

It’s not too late to help me raise money for the Susan G. Komen Run for the Cure! I really appreciate the support. I’ll be thinking about my friends Sheri and Janet as I’m jogging along—they will inspire me to keep pressing onward. Plus I know I’ll get a lift at mile 10 when I remember Rob T., who just underwent a long, harrowing surgery for neurofibrosarcoma. There’s no way I can have my usual pity party there when I consider what he’s had to endure (he’s also a stage IV tonsilar cancer survivor).

Thanks for being on my shoulders Sunday, Sheri, Janet, and Rob!

Survivor Power!

My mom and I share a laugh several years ago.

My beloved mom and her terrific twin sister celebrated their 82nd birthdays yesterday. What a joyous occasion for our families!

It’s especially great, because my mom is a breast cancer survivor. She fought a tough battle (lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation), and her yearly scans have been fine so far.

As I’ve noted before, I’m running the January 15th Chevron Houston Marathon (or Aramco Half Marathon, depending on how my right foot holds up during these last long runs) and raising money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This is my way of supporting my friends Sheri and Janet E., who currently are battling the dreaded disease and have inspired me with their positive attitudes.

But I’m also running in honor of my mom and her fellow survivors. I hope you’ll help me raise funds by clicking on this link:  Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Let’s kick cancer to the curb!

Happy birthday weekend, Mom! You’ve always been my hero.

Running for a New Reason

This year’s fundraising cause

Want to come along with me as I run the Chevron Houston Marathon on January 15? Help me raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

For the fourth straight year, I’m fundraising through the marathon’s wonderful Run for a Reason program. But this time, I’ve changed the recipient. In the past I’ve run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which is near and dear to my heart because too many of my loved ones (especially my father, stepfather, and cousin Lisa) have died from blood cancers. Plus now my friends’ kids have fought them.

Sheri when she had hair

But this time I’ve been inspired and motivated by a couple friends who are battling breast cancer. Sheri was diagnosed just this fall. We’ve known each other since our #1 sons were in the first grade.

Janet has lost her hair again. (Photo by Janie Picou)

Meanwhile, breast cancer has been a part of Janet’s life since 2001. She and I became buds through her sister Claire, whose #2 son is the same age as my older boy.

I’m counting on the motivation from these two lovely ladies to push me through those 26.2 miles. And I’m hoping that my readers will help those miles count by donating at this link:  Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Let’s kick breast cancer to the curb! Thanks for all your help and for keeping Sheri and Janet in your thoughts.

Run for a Reason Again

Stephanie (middle) dances with the Angels during halftime at a football game.

I’ve been a somewhat-dedicated runner, jogger (at my current snail-like pace), or walker since 1978. Enjoying the great outdoors (I’m not coordinated enough to use a treadmill) for miles at a time is a very selfish pursuit. It’s a great chance to clear your mind, think of blog posts and photo ops, and re-energize for battling strong-willed teenagers.

Every now and then, I actually train for and finish a race (usually January’s Aramco Half-Marathon). It’s satisfying to set a goal and achieve it, no matter how long it takes to cross the finish line. And it’s especially fulfilling to have yet another purpose amid that selfish pursuit: Raising funds for a worthy cause.

For the second straight year, I’m participating in the January 30th Chevron Houston Marathon/Aramco Half-Marathon’s Run for a Reason program. Once again, my chosen charity is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, a cause that’s near and dear to me. Blood cancers have cut short the lives of my father, stepfather, cousin Lisa, and my dear former neighbor’s father, Dick Jones, who I ran in honor of last year.

I’m also honoring the memory of Sue Van Natta, a tireless fundraiser for LLS, who passed away from breast cancer this past summer.

Stephanie shows her exuberance.

While I plan to draw energy during the race from the memories of loved ones and friends, I’m also going to gain inspiration from Stephanie, a classmate of my younger son. The fellow high school sophomore was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma this past February 18. She endured four months of chemo and a month of radiation. But she’s come back strong—her latest scans show no sign of cancer, and she’s had a wonderful season with our high school’s dance team. Who wouldn’t be motivated by her story to run well?

I sincerely hope that this also will motivate you, my cherished readers, to click on this link and donate to support my fundraising efforts. Let’s kick blood cancers to the curb!